Renewable Energy Standard Legislation Introduced

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U.S. Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Mark Udall, D-Colo., have introduced legislation that would establish a federal renewable energy standard (RES). The legislation would require utilities to generate 25% of their electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources by 2025.

The bill would set the first national threshold for utilities to provide a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable resources – with a 6% requirement by 2013, followed by gradual increases thereafter to meet the 25% by 2025 goal.

The senators first introduced a similar initiative in 2002 while they were members of the House of Representatives. The two eventually built a coalition in the House and won passage of an RES amendment in 2007.

‘Americans want to put our nation on a path toward energy independence, and this bill is our best chance to get America running on homegrown energy while creating good jobs for hardworking Americans,’ says Tom Udall. ‘Studies show that a federal RES would reduce energy bills, revitalize rural America, slow global warming and strengthen our energy security. With American innovation and ingenuity, we can put our people to work in a thriving, clean energy economy.’

Wind and solar energy are likely to be among the largest sources of new manufacturing jobs worldwide during the 21st century, according to the senators. A Navigant Consulting study found that an RES would create over 250,000 new American jobs. Energy research firm Wood Mackenzie found that an RES would also lower natural-gas and electricity prices and save more than $100 billion for American consumers.

SOURCE: Office of Sen. Mark Udall

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